GSP: Officials release results from Columbus weekend crime suppression detail

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 4:22 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With a crime suppression detail over the past weekend, Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Columbus Police Department (CPD) together pulled over 743 people. Along with the crackdown, gun violence also ramped up in the Fountain City.

There were 14 vehicle chases, one even leading to a car accident, according to GSP officials. Jessica Taylor, whose sister was hit by a suspect during the chase, said, “I beg everybody. If Georgia State Patrol gets behind you, just pull over. It’s definitely not worth it because if you don’t, they’re going to put the whole community in danger.”

Another witness expressed it’s still a positive step to see local law enforcement doing what they can to help stop crime.

“But I don’t think he was driving on the wrong side of the road like that until they started chasing him. And I believe, like, just let it go. Like, you will find him. You will get he. He will get his day, same as the other person, because it’s not worth someone losing their life over. And it’s not gonna be the driver of the car that’s committing these crimes,” said Columbus resident Brenda Kay.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson says these crime suppression operations allow Georgia to bring about 20 to 40 troopers into the city to handle the roads while Columbus police catch the bad guys.

“Georgia State Patrol, their primary focus is traffic. So typically, that’s how it starts. They’ll start to pull somebody over, and if they run, GSP has their own protocol, their policies, that they follow. And on occasion, they’ll pursue them,” said Henderson.

He says the teamwork is because both GSP and CPD are here to enforce the law.

“We’ve had so many drug deals and so many violent interactions that it’s important that they continue to try to police the community. But I can tell you that when there’s a big show of force in Columbus, GA, it is for a positive thing,” said the mayor.

And while these special details netted dozens of suspects, on the same weekend, there was also a shooting on Interstate 185 in Columbus that stemmed from road rage, which Henderson calls ridiculous.

“Throughout the country, there’s become a less kind society and people are losing their tempers... just don’t matter at the end result. And to have two people that would pull over on an interstate and engage in a fight and if one starts losing, pull [a] pistol... it just doesn’t make sense.”

With GSP in town, they took 30 drunk drivers of the roads, 47 people were arrested and 11 wanted people were taken into custody.